Day One: What to Know About Starting a Fundraiser
So you’ve decided to start a fundraiser – Congratulations! Starting a fundraiser on GiveForward is one of the easiest ways to help a loved one in need of financial assistance with medical bills.
But now that you’ve started a fundraiser, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure it’s a success. Here are 5 things you should do on the first day of your online fundraiser.
1. Review Your Description
If you’re like us, chances are you got excited about starting a fundraiser, so you may not have spent as much time as recommended on the initial set-up. But don’t worry! Take some time on your first day to collect your thoughts and establish concrete goals for your fundraiser. Why are you starting the fundraiser? How would you describe success for your fundraiser? What do you need to achieve your goals?
Review the mission statement or description you wrote and double-check that you included the most important part – the why. This is what people really want to know when they visit your fundraising page.
Why did you start this fundraiser? Why you are passionate about the beneficiary’s cause? Why should others donate? Do a final read-through to make sure your intentions are clear and free of distracting spelling and grammar mistakes. To err is human; to proofread, divine.
2. Make it Shine
The quickest way to get your fundraiser noticed by donors is to make it stand out with updates and photos. First, choose a high-quality photo of the beneficiary that really speaks to who they are as a person. Fundraisers with photos are significantly more successful than those without, so start your fundraising page with at least one photo – but feel free to add more!
Some ideas for the types of photos to add include photos of your beneficiary with friends, playing sports or at work to show the many dimensions to his or her character. Personality may be one of the most important parts of your online fundraiser, so make sure to spend some time really showcasing it.
3. Gather a Team
Reach out to friends and invite them to join your fundraiser as a fundraising team member. Make a plan for how you’ll delegate responsibility both short- and long-term. One teammate could be in charge of contacting local media outlets to get publicity for the fundraiser, while another can plan offline fundraising events to complement the online fundraiser. Yet another can be in charge of posting frequent updates to the page to keep donors posted on the most recent news in the beneficiary’s life.
Aside from divvying up the work to make organizing easier, inviting friends as fundraising team members will also increase your fundraiser’s audience. Each member of the team will reach a different network of donors by sharing the fundraiser through their social media channels, so you’ll be on your way to reaching your fundraising goal in no time!
4. Stay off Facebook!
Of course you’re excited to share your brand new fundraiser with friends, but keep it off Facebook for now. Believe it or not, sharing your fundraiser on Facebook too soon can hurt your chances of receiving larger donations down the road.
Let us explain: Unfortunately, many donations are based on the donations that came before them. If people visit your fundraiser and see that there are few donations, they may not be willing to donate immediately – those who do donate may not give as much as they would normally.
So instead of going straight to Facebook, the best first-day approach for sharing your fundraiser is to contact a close group of trusted friends and family members. Write a personal note asking them to make a donation – you can even explain the importance of their contribution as one of the first donors. By securing some high dollar donations from a close circle of friends, you can get the ball rolling and set the tone for the fundraiser’s future.
5. Write a Thank You
Gratitude is important. So even though you may not have received any donations yet, you should be prepared to thank your donors when those dollars do start rolling in. On day one, write a thank you note that will be delivered automatically to anyone who donates to your fundraiser. You can follow up with more personal thank you notes later, but sending an immediate response to a donation can be a powerful way of letting your donors know how much their support means.